By Darla McCammon
Let’s get his name right.
He is tremendously famous and his name is pronounced TIH-SHUN, rhymes with Tie-shun. He was born in a small village in the Italian Alps, but as youngsters, Titian and his brother were welcomed to their uncle’s home in Venice, where they were to learn a trade. Titian tried several tutors and different trades than the art he preferred, but good fortune smiled on him. He was accepted as a student, where he learned excellent art practices from Giovanni Bellini, who happened to be very advanced in new techniques in oil painting. Bellini was considered one of the best artists in Italy.
Venice was one of the best landing places for a striving artist. The City of Venice, itself huge and prosperous, also controlled an enormous empire. Bellini and Titian were in high demand and it was not long before Titian, on the death of Bellini in 1516, became the official painter of this great Republic. His patrons were of the highest level of society and his friends such as the Duke of Mantua boosted his career to the elevated level of friendship and approval by Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
Some of the princes of this empire competed for the work of Titian and a few became angry at the slow progress of Titian’s fastidious and careful manipulation of the paint on his canvas. Their frustration, however, had to be tempered as they could no longer find a competitor to replace Titian since both Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci had both died in 1520 and 1519. Titian was known to be charming and a welcome guest at the highest levels of society, thus he became one of the wealthiest and most successful court painters in history.
In 1514, a wealthy Venetian, Niccolo Aurelio, commissioned Titian to produce a painting titled “Sacred and Profane Love.” Most experts believe this was a tribute to Aurelio’s new bride but others question that explanation. Regardless of interpretation, this painting is representative of the talent of Titian. His brushwork in oil paint was judged to have excelled before all artists before his time.
As old age began to creep into Titian’s fingers, his son, Orazio, also very talented, began running a workshop in which paintings were produced by Orazio and the staff with a few final flourishes by Titian. One nobleman, an admirer from Spain, was heard to say, “I believe that a blotch by Titian will be better than anything by another artist.”
Kelly Shoemaker’s exhibit is currently at Warsaw City Hall Art Gallery.
The Lakeland Artisan Holiday Show will be held Oct. 23 at Warsaw’s Center Lake Pavilion. E-mail [email protected] to request an entry form and regulations.
To exhibit artwork at Warsaw’s City Hall Art Gallery, contact McCammon at [email protected].